Francisky 8th June .

Steve & Carol
Sat 9 Jun 2018 16:01
11:57.46N 066:38.94W
We had agreed with Rik and Sanne to leave at 09.30 and head for Francisky – a lagoon with a narrow entrance surrounded by 3 islands and a reef. Before we left we noticed that the dust we had seen in the air yesterday had coated everything facing into the wind much like we had in Cape Verde in 2011 only here there is little prospect of rain to wash it away!
We motored the 2.5 miles to this beautiful anchorage and anchored, there were 3 or 4 Venezuelan boats already here – it’s a popular spot for the more wealthy Venezuelans who make the 4/5 hour trip from Caracas in their big power boats. Later we went ashore on one of the islands to explore – a few more boats had arrived and as we walked along the beach we met Margarita who had arrived with her husband Gustav and their 3 grown children and their families and friends in their boat a short while after us – she spoke good English and walked with us for a while, she first visited the island nearly 40 years ago and has been coming here ever since, they are also renting the only property on the island for the weekend and are celebrating one of her sons birthdays so he is staying there with some friends while the rest of the party stay on the boat.
Margarita introduced us to her son and his friend – they all speak good English, are very friendly and interesting, everyone we spoke to was passionate about their country and very sad that it is in it’s current situation, they oppose the government and are hopeful it will change.
We learned a lot form this brief encounter and we agreed to meet them on the beach for sun downers later in the day. We had been told about a good snorkel spot on one of the other islands and so headed there to cool down, there is a natural pool created by the land and a coral reef which has a statue of Mary in it and is a popular spot for visitors. The water felt surprisingly cool as we went in and we were a little put off by the large number of jellyfish however we didn't think they were the stinging kind and so weren't too bothered, the water was quite murky from sea breaking over the reef and the coral wasn't very colourful, there were a lot of fish though and bigger fish than we have seen elsewhere, we snorkelled around the edge and found the statue – the Venezuelan's believe it’s good luck to dive down and touch it, we met a few other people in the pool, all were very friendly.
Afterwards we headed back to shower before going to the beach to meet Margarita and her family, we were invited under their gazebo and the others were all given Venezuelan IPA to drink, we spent a few hours chatting with them before they insisted we join them at the house for a BBQ Venezuelan style – we tried to decline as we felt like we were intruding but failed miserably and so headed off with them towards the house, once there we chatted further while Gustav cooked on the BBQ meat, once cooked it was cut up into small pieces and handed around in a bowl, along with the meat was some boiled small potatoes and an excellent dish of plantain and cheese baked in the oven by Margarita – it sounds a weird combination but was really lovely, much tastier than any plantain I have tasted before. We had a lovely evening and learned a lot about this lovely, hospitable family, their friends and their country and felt privileged to have had the opportunity to experience the warmth of the Venezuelan people.